Friday, June 24th, 2016 02:22 pm
My current physio regime includes a certain amount of walking each day, which is slower than usual and therefore less interesting, but also hard work. So I've dug out Zombies Run again to keep me company. I'm only half-way through Season 1, but it's fun. Jack and Eugene provide occasional unintentional hilarity in radio mode, though. For example:

Shuffle: Plays Adam Lambert's Master Plan
Jack and Eugene: Talk about how they're getting misty-eyed at that last song and teared up a bit.

Jack and Eugene: This next one's a happening tune.
Shuffle: Plays S Club 7.
Friday, June 24th, 2016 02:02 pm

I was reading this two days ago. It needs saying today.

“Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles… not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another.” - George Orwell, 1943.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 07:10 pm

A story I was told at St Mark’s, a “high” Anglican church:

St Mark’s has a rather large contingent of de jure Roman Catholics in its congregation, who argued with the local parish priest or the Vatican and just decamped down the road. Many times this only gets discovered when they die and ask for their ashes to be interred in St Mark’s columbarium, whereupon the local RC priest turns up and objects.

So after this had happened a few times, they agreed that a small part of the columbarium would be dedicated as a RC burial place. And so that God wouldn’t get confused, they put a cardboard divider between them.

The person telling me this story concluded, “So apparently cardboard can block the Holy Spirit, just like alpha particles… wait. Don’t mitres have cardboard inside to keep the shape? I think we’ve discovered something here…”

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 01:01 am
Occasionally I just bang out an outline that looks exactly how I intended. (First drafts of Maya and Sarah/Cera/Serah/haven't decided what spelling yet.) (
Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 07:01 pm

Soon - probably within the next month - I'm planning to add code on the Dreamhack server which will automatically shut down Apache instances when the owner logs out (or at some point thereafter). I'm doing this because running Apache instances do take up resources on the Dreamhack server and a lot of people don't stop their Apache instances when they're not working on them, and it does make things a bit harder.

Currently I'm thinking of either shutting down the Apache instance either 7 days after the owner last logged out (unless they're currently logged in, of course) or shutting it down immediately on logout. If anybody has any issues with either of these options, please let me know in the comments - I'm very willing to listen to people on this.

If you have any other comments or questions, please do also comment. I'd be happy to answer any questions on this.
Monday, June 20th, 2016 08:35 pm

If I had to choose either Strasbourg or Westminster to run this country, I'd choose Strasbourg. It has a better separation of powers. Someone asked what I mean by that, so I'll explain more fully.

A bit of civics background-- sorry if you know this already: There are three branches to every government: the legislature which makes laws, the executive which implements those laws, and the judiciary which deals with people who break them. In a carefully-designed system such as the American federal government, the three branches act as checks on one another's power. (In the US, executive=President, legislature=Congress, judiciary=federal courts.) This means that it's much more difficult for one or two people to fuck up the system.

But in the UK and the EU we don't have a complete separation of powers. In particular in the EU we have the executive (the Commission) having the sole power to propose bills to the legislature (the Parliament). This is undemocratic, and it's a problem. The legislature can veto bills, so it acts as a check on the power of the executive. But it cannot act alone.

In the UK, however, the problem is even worse. In our case executive=Downing Street, legislature=Parliament, judiciary=courts. Parliament was originally a check on the power of the King (when the King was the executive). But for the last few centuries, the Crown's ministers have effectively been the executive, and these ministers are always drawn from Parliament. A PM must necessarily almost always be able to order Parliament to do anything they wish, because they must belong to the majority party in the Commons, and MPs almost always vote as the whips tell them to.

So if for example we happened to get someone as PM who was determined to starve the poor and destroy the NHS, there's nobody at all who can stand up to him. In the US or in France it's routine for the legislature to say no to the executive (and vice versa). But it's near-impossible in the UK.


...there is, at present, one organisation which can say no to the PM.

That organisation is the EU.

That is why I'm voting Remain.


Monday, June 20th, 2016 12:12 am
cutting for those who don't care )
Sunday, June 19th, 2016 11:07 pm
Hello! Are you a fan of the Atelier series by the developers Gust? Then please stop by [community profile] ateliergust for all your Atelier (and other Gust games) needs. (We have pie!)
Saturday, June 18th, 2016 06:51 pm
Reminder that I'm going to start working on tonight's code push in the next 30-45 minutes or so. I know you just CAN'T WAIT to use the larger icon filesize for your animated gif talents, so I'm going to start a bit earlier than originally planned, closer to 5:30pm PDT. I'll update this post when we're done!

Update: All done! Comment here if you notice any issues that need our attention.
Saturday, June 18th, 2016 11:58 pm
All of these will be going live in tonight's code push!

Read more... )

8 total issues resolved
Contributors: [ profile] cesy, [ profile] kaberett, [ profile] kareila, [ profile] pinterface
Saturday, June 18th, 2016 09:55 pm
I was once in a psychiatrist's waiting room and they had a coffee machine with enough buttons to belong to Captain Picard. You know the sort of thing-- buttons for white coffee, black coffee, cappucino, hot chocolate, and so on and on. But one of them was unlabelled, and THAT was the one I wanted.

It took a while to brew me a cup. When it had cooled, I took a sip. The stuff was utterly foul-- like a sort of hot instant coffee made with lemons and ammonia. I can still taste it in memory.

Just then, the psychiatrist arrived, and asked what I was grimacing about. I explained the story and showed him the button. "Right," he said. "That's the self-cleaning function."
Saturday, June 18th, 2016 08:03 pm
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
Saturday, June 18th, 2016 03:29 pm

Posted by karen

I’ve been in Orlando for a couple of weeks now.  Given the horrific massacre at the Pulse nightclub, it’s not been an easy time to be on holiday.  Of course, it shouldn’t be easy to forget the events and there are reminders everywhere.  The staff in the hotel are wearing Orlando United t-shirts, everywhere I go there are signs and messages about the tragedy, and this morning I was asked to take a picture of a couple going to one of the funerals.

It’s a time for sorrow.

Friday, June 17th, 2016 09:50 pm
The other day I went to a talk at the British Interplanetary Society about Reusable Launchers. If anyone in London is interested in coming to future events, I get a free guest ticket as a member. This one was aimed at people who are keen to see how we can get stuff into Earth orbit cheaply. It started off with a reminder of why people have been dreaming about this for a long time, and some ideas from the Fifties - colonies on the Moon, travelling to Mars, mining asteroids, giant space stations, etc. But all of them depend on getting things out of Earth's gravity well, either into Earth orbit or further out.

Cool space stuff )

It was all very interesting, and added a lot of detail to stuff I was vaguely aware of but didn't really understand properly. I think Elon Musk has a better business strategy with funding the next stage from the previous stage, though - convincing any big enough lender (which basically means a government or ESA) to fund the development of Skylon is a huge challenge. I hope they do it, though, as I'm now convinced that something like Skylon has a better chance of getting us to viable off-Earth colonies than the SpaceX Falcon/Dragon designs. But I wouldn't be surprised if in a decade's time, SpaceX find the funding to do something similar if Reaction Engines haven't already got there.
Friday, June 17th, 2016 07:24 pm
I went to the physio today. My exercises are going relatively well - I've been doing them, at least. And my symptoms have improved. So I got more exercises to do. Instead? No, as well. *sigh*
Friday, June 17th, 2016 11:06 am
We are planning to do a code push around 32[*] hours from now, at approximately 6pm Pacific time on Saturday.

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push, apart from the usual minor tweaks and bugfixes:

  • Icon size limit raised from 40kb to 60kb.

  • Fixed the "hook: enddata returned false" error when uploading multiple icons.

  • Posting DW links on Facebook will now use the "Swirly D" logo for the link image.

  • Added seven new color variants on the popular "Teeny Tinies" mood theme.

  • The user profile page now lists "Other Services" in responsive columns.

  • The user icons page no longer uses "(Default)" in the alt text for every icon.

  • Improved non-ASCII character support in plain text email notifications.

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!

[*] I had a computer check my math this time, because it was almost wrong again. YAY COMPUTERS.
Thursday, June 16th, 2016 08:00 pm
As mentioned previously, we're about to reboot the Dreamhack server. Hopefully it won't be down too long; I'll update this post when it seems to be back up.

Update: seems to be back now.
Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 11:39 pm
The company that hosts the Dreamhack machine has let us know that they're prepping to migrate the machine to their new platform. We've been warned that due to the large number of files on the machine, the migration is likely to take a long time or fail to complete successfully.

In order to minimize migration-related downtime and maximize the chance of not having failures, we're temporarily zipping up the home directories of anyone who hasn't touched any files in their account since 2014. Nothing will be permanently deleted -- just temporarily turned from many files into one file. (The problem isn't with the amount of data, but the number of files.)

We'll let you know when the migration is happening. EDIT: We're going to aim for Thursday night, probably sometime in the evening, but depends on when [personal profile] alierak has the chance to babysit it.
Monday, June 13th, 2016 11:59 pm
Currently recuperating from a fun-but-exhausting stretch of eight days in a row where I had to make the round trip downtown for various reasons - concerts on the weekends, and kid stuff on the weekdays. Will attended an afternoon day camp where he designed and constructed a Rube Goldberg contraption incorporating various types of simple machines. Three of those five afternoons, I found stuff to do with Connor (a Galleria trip, a zoo trip, and a day at McWane); the other two days the in-laws kept him, so I spent one afternoon at the downtown library and one at the art museum. It was a very nice week, just time consuming and tiring. Last night's Weird Al concert capped it off, and it was everything I'd hoped for and then some.

This week I need to catch up on work and sleep and get ready to leave for OSB next week. I'm flying out of Atlanta on the 20th, although I don't know yet if my dad will be able to take me to the airport this time (his wife recently dislocated her elbow and is more disabled than usual), and in any case Robby doesn't want me to leave his car with my dad this time, because he wants to tinker with it while he's home with the kids. So I still need to work that out. I'd also really like to take a mini vacation to Florida after I get back, in order to see the Red Sox play in Tampa, but I doubt whether that's practical - Robby won't want to take more time off from work, and everyone else I know who might want to tag along is either broke or dealing with health problems. Sigh.